Tag Archives: music

Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op.115

English: Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), German c...

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J. Brahms Clarinet Quintet raises a kind of longing and memories. Especially the first few bars of the 1st movement. For years I was sure it was used in an old TV series I could not recall. Reading the comments of other listeners in YouTube, I realized that for other people, those memories may belong to events that never happened. This is the magic of the piece.

If you’ve never heard this Quintet before take 40 relaxing minutes to listen to it, contemplate and remember. The second movement is beautiful.

Towards the end of the Quintet you’ll hear the motive from those beginning bars, just in case you’ve already forgotten…

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Filed under Brahms, Classical Music

Charlie Mingus – Haitian Fight Song

Charles Mingus - Bi Centenial, Lower Manhattan...

Charles Mingus July 4, 1976 (Wikipedia)

Great piece by the great bassist – Charlie Mingus. What a groove, watch your legs as they start jumping everywhere… It was good bumping into it last evening driving home. Maybe that’s why the return to the bass motive after a long improvisation session is the part I liked the best. A good refresher for a long day…

“Haitian Fight Song” was released on “The Clown” (Atlantic Records, 1957). I prefer the faster version below but that’s just me.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Good Music, Jazz

A Magnificent Demonstration of Coloratura Singing By Cecilia Bartoli

Recital de la maravillosa Cecilia Bartoli

According to Wikipedia –  “”coloratura“, …normally means soprano coloratura. A coloratura soprano role, most famously typified by the Queen of the Night in Mozart‘s The Magic Flute, has a high range and requires the singer to execute with great facility elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills.”

Click on the video below. It’s a great example of coloratura singing.  Cecilia Bartoli sings “Agitata da due venti” (Vivaldi, Griselda). This is a very, very demanding piece but Bartoli is doing it without any problem. Extreme jumps from very high to very low. Amazing midriff work and it all looks like with seamless effort.

Are you still reading this? Click on the video below…

 

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Filed under Classical Music, Opera, Piano

Classical side of SoundCloud

Antti Sunell Music Blog

Hellou! There are not only soundtrack-like electronica music in SoundCloud – also high quality performances and recordings of  “western art-music” can be heard. Here is some findings…

Boston-based New England Conservatory (NEC) provides regulary high quality recordings from solo performances to orchestral performances to avantgardean improvisations. Here New England Conservatory piano faculty Randall Hodgkinson performs Fauré’s Preludes.

Jouni Stenroos – guitarist from Espoo, Finland – has transcribed and arranged J.S. Bach’s music for 10-string guitar.

Herman Vandecauter from Brussels, Belgium is specialised in different kinds of plucked instruments: romantic guitar, mandolin, theorb-lute… Here is Händel arranged for ukulele!

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Refreshing New Music to Practice The Piano on

Keyboard of a grand piano manufactured by the ...

Keyboard of a Steinway & Sons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a son of a Piano teacher got me acquainted with all the piano teaching tunes. The down side is that I got to know them to well. Not to mention all of the possible mistakes.

That’s why I was happy to find this WordPress blog –  classpiano.com – Free Piano Music by Regan Starr. Regan who is now the Manager of Digital Media for the piano company Steinway & Sons started this project while he was a student. His site contains hundreds of refreshing new music sheets to learn to play the Piano by.

Regan releases beautiful melodies which he categorize by difficulty Beginner,Intermediate and  advanced, by Keys (Majors and Minors) and by Time signature. Regan also enables his readers to thumb up or down his pieces, so you can immediately access to most popular ones.

The music sheets come with some words of advice by Regan and a video where you can listen to the music and see the fingering. You still need to do actual practicing to get to results… However this is a great head start for anyone who wants to practice by themselves.

I would love to hear Regan Starr’s music played by a larger musical ensemble or in a context of a bigger piece. In the meantime he does not promise that he will keep all of his soundtracks on the site or his own computer…

Enjoy!

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Filed under Learning Music, Piano

Benjamin Britten at 100 – time for a new appraisal?

Benjamin Britten (Wikipedia)

Benjamin Britten in the mid-1950s (Wikipedia)

The music of Benjamin Britten has a spell on me and it never stop to surprise me. You always find enchanting combinations of musical instruments and human voices. Wonderful melodies as well as not so easy to listen to pieces.

That’s why I was happy to find this article from the Guardian – “Benjamin Britten at 100 – time for a new appraisal? A more relaxed attitude may be emerging towards the colossal musical legacy of Britain’s modern titan of the opera”

Britten’s 100th anniversary is an excellent time to look back at his legacy. Read the comments left on the article they give some perspective as well.

One of my favorite Britten pieces is Exultate – Ceremony of Carols. Listen to the unique combination of the choir and harp as well as the live tempos:

 

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Filed under Classical Music, Opera

The Ultimate Wiki Resource for Classical Music – IMSLP

Frontispiece to Petrucci's Odhecaton

Frontispiece to Petrucci’s Odhecaton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, I admit it I have a passion for musical scores notes. It comes second only to my Piano keyboard obsession. That’s why I was very happy to browse through IMSLP, the International Music Score Library Project. The IMSLP is a Wiki project  and was launched on February 2006. IMSLP consists mainly of scans of out of copyright musical scores. There are also some MP3 tracks to listen to and always an Amazon link to the relevant piece.

IMSLP is also known as the Petrucci Music Library. Ottaviano Petrucci was an Italian publisher who lived between the 15th and 16th centuries. Petrucci was one of the first music sheet publishers.

The wealth of material is amazing. You can find the complete Bach public domain works as well as all of the public domain works of Beethoven, BrahmsChopin, Corelli, DebussyFauréHandel,Palestrina, RavelSchubert, SchumannSibelius and many others. Some like Mozart and Liszt, have most of their works downloaded. According to the site as of Aug 2011, IMSLP has 63,243 works, 225,387 scores, 21,976 recordings, 7,769 composers, and 194 performers. I don’t play any instrument myself but this wealth of scores is really inspiring. It “tickles” me to start those piano lessons I’m postponing for so long…

Copyrights are a very central issue when running a project like IMSLP. In fact the site was shut down for almost a year (Oct 2007 to June 2008) because of copyright claims. Since its reopening IMSLP complies with the very strict copyright rules of Canada, US and the EU. The site makes sure that its users will not accidentally infringe any law. No wonder that Edward W. Guo, the creator and leader of IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library is a graduate of the New England Conservatory (B.M. in composition, 2008) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 2012)…

The project also allows contemporary composers to publish their works under the Creative Commons license. By this it helps them gain recognition and acceptance.

The main target audience of IMSLP is obviously musicians. Let me know how it affected you as musicians, armatures or listeners.

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Filed under Classical Music, Music Technology